Every time I think life can’t spin any faster, it does. There are some amazing things happening right now that I can’t wait to share, but the culmination of all of them happening so closely together has lead me to need this holiday weekend more than ever to find the bottom of my email inbox and more importantly time to slow down, take a breath, and unplug.
After Waze was acquired by Google in June of this year, Annie and I completely unplugged in Kiawah, SC. It was four full days of no email or social media for me and it was incredible. I found some incredibly clarity during that time and will look back on that trip as a turning point for some big things to come. The luxury of that length of time to slow down wasn’t available to me this weekend, but the choice to treat this holiday like one was. I knew I had meetings this morning, but committed to spending three hours offline and with my phone on a different floor of the apartment. I made an ask this morning for any reading that had inspired folks over the past couple months and was incredibly grateful for the amazing responses both on Facebook and on Twitter.
I intentionally didn’t offer parameters around my requests as I was hoping for things further outside my normal strike zone of nonfiction business books. From books of the Bible to cyber thriller fiction, TED Talks and Royal Society for the Arts videos, I found my mind exploring thoughts not directly related to a single thing I am working on right now, and yet applications and take aways that helped me punch through a couple mental road blocks I’d been hung up on.
I wrote about the value of slowing down to stay sharp for Forbes last year HERE and full endorse the wisdom in the story of the lumberjacks. And while most of the time it is much easier said than done, today it was done and I am even more ready for a huge month ahead.Tweet
I recently met with a young entrepreneur who has had some recent successes. We talked through some of the wins and how they came about with his new company and the momentum he felt like he had. Intrigued by where he was hoping to take things, I asked what I could be doing to be helpful going forward. He responded, “There’s nothing that comes to mind, I think we’re good.”
Having seen my share of start-ups over the past few years, not needing help from someone can only mean one of two things:
1) You don’t like the person and are doing your best to keep them as far away from you and your company as possible. You think they have the potential to be a hanger-on and have no value to provide.
2) You’re in denial about how hard the road ahead is going to be and haven’t even begun to think about what it means to build a company from scratch. Not knowing how someone can help is tipping you hand that you haven’t even scratched the surface of how hard the road ahead is going to be.
Some of the best entrepreneurs and professionals I know are the most skillful at involving anyone and everyone in their initiatives. Not in a “cry for help” kind of way, but by understanding who their audiences is and what value they can create together. When we play the tough guy and show no vulnerability, we are missing out on the chance for others to work their magic on our behalf. Not out of pity, but out of caring and the desire to see us succeed in our endeavors.
The next time someone asks how they can be helpful, think about who they are, what they’ve done in their career, and if nothing else, look to them for advice about a situation you know they’ve encountered that you may run into further down the road. The last thing we need is more tough guys that don’t need anyone else. Being an entrepreneur is tough enough as it is, why handicap yourself further by doing it alone?Tweet
A year ago, I wrote about Exosphere for the first time. We were just getting started recruiting team members, building out the scope of the idea, and finding a location to house our burgeoning entrepreneurial education community. Since that time, we’ve taken over a palace in downtown Santiago, Chile, added team members from around the world, inked partnerships with other Latin American focused organizations, and co-hosted a conference for developers with Facebook and American Airlines.
As we continue to build a community around the belief that education will be one of the most disrupted industries in the next decade, we are launching our first Entrepreneur Bootcamp beginning this fall. (APPLY HERE) We will be bringing 30 aspiring entrepreneurs to Santiago (Why Chile?) for a 3 month intensive program focusing on the skills critical to take an idea from the back of a napkin to a reality. I am incredibly proud of the mentors and workshop leaders that will be flying down to Chile throughout the fall to share their own experiences in design thinking, programming, and income generation.
Because this all inclusive program is intentionally capped at 30 participants, we know it will fill up quickly. If you’ve considered taking the leap into building something and diving into entrepreneurship, there are few places better than Exosphere to take those first steps. To read more about the Bootcamp and why spending three months in Chile this fall might be just the thing for you or someone you know, check out Exosphe.re or drop me a note and I’ll be happy to tell you more about it.Tweet
For today’s TedTalk Lunch, I watched two videos sharing two sides to one story. Exploring the innovation of the past century and making predictions about the century ahead these two speeches both make compelling cases. The first talk below assumes the glasses is half empty and there is no way that the 2000s can compete with the innovation and world changing impact of the inventions of the 1900s. The second talk, the glass half full, lays out a more optimistic perspective about the road that lies ahead. It is worthwhile to watch them both and look for the truths that resonate in your own industry, for better or worse.